When we got back to the bottle with the beak that snogged the foul-smelling snot, I saw a family of raccoons fiddling with the trash dumpster. They weren't actually raccoons, they were two people and a dog, but I'd never seen people trying to unlock a dumpster before, so I figured that they must be raccoons in some very clever costumes.
One was a waterfall that fell thousands of feet off the rock like it couldn’t help itself. It flailed its spray desperately trying to grab onto the steep, smooth rock. But the mountain didn’t care what it was putting the river through any more than it cared about draining my battery, and so the cliff gave the river nothing to hang on to on its long fall down to the valley, where it kerpleweyed into an explosion of froth and guts.
Soon, the road-like-thing turned to conceal itself between the toes of the mountain, and we followed it inside. The trail was marvelously horrible. It looked like the path to a lair of a wicked monster that would crunch the bones of hikers that came to visit him.
They looked like their father was a cow and their mother was a warthog, because they looked like someone had taken a cow and squeezed all of its extra parts up around its shoulders until it had no neck at all. And their haircuts were just terrible, like Julia Child or Norm MacDonald, but worse.
The best thing about this little sprout of a canyon was that it was on my scale, and Mom and I climbed in and out over the rocks, taking in the canyon from all angles. Then we walked out over the sandstone plane that surrounded the canyon-let, losing the trail almost as often as Mom took pictures. Come to think of it, I’m not so sure we were following a trail at all, so much as wandering from one interesting thing to another.
That's why I was still tied to Mom when we came around Creature Corner, where I have met a lion, a wolf-dog, and too many bunny rabbits to count. This morning there was a new creature flumping across the path. It was a horseshoe-crab-shaped ball of fur that moved like a land sting ray. "STRIPEY STINK-CAT!" I barked.
"YOU don't even fetch frisbees." "Right! That's the point. Whenever you throw a frisbee, I chase it and then wait for you to catch up so that you'll pick it up and throw it again. That makes running together fun."
“There’s no way that bacon boulder can out-sprint me!” I wagged. “Lemme at him! I'll have him teach you about his problem free philosophy when I catch him.”
I had never understood why humans collect things just for looking at, but as I looked at the tiny home wearing a hat of rampaging flame, I thought I understood how a building tells the story of the person inside. It’s a little bit like how the desert and mountains tell their story through cliffs, canyons, rocks and rivers both by what is missing and what is left behind.